Conference USA Football Championship Game

TheConference USA Football Championship Game is an annual postseason college football game played to determine the champion of Conference USA (C-USA). From 1996 to 2004, the champion of Conference USA was determined by regular season record. In 2005, following the division of the conference into East and West Divisions and an expansion to twelve members, the conference began holding a championship game between the two division winners. The team with the better regular season record serves as the host team. From 2005 through 2010, C-USA was the only FBS conference not to have its championship game at a neutral site. After the Pac-12 expanded to 12 teams in 2011, it began holding its championship game at the home of the team with the best record. The Mountain West Conference, which expanded to 12 football members in 2013, holds its championship game at the home field of the division champion with the higher BCS ranking.

The first C-USA Championship Game was played on December 3, 2005 between Tulsa and UCF, with Tulsa winning 44–27. It was held at the Citrus Bowl inOrlando, which was then UCF's home field. Each year, the game has been televised live on ESPN College Football. In the 2006 season, the game was moved from Saturday afternoon to Friday night. In 2011 the game was on ABC. The winner of the C-USA Championship customarily receives a berth to play in the Liberty Bowl. However, the Liberty Bowl is not contractually obligated to choose the game's winner. If the C-USA champion finishes as the highest ranked non-power conference champion (as ranked by the College Football Playoff selection committee), it would receive a bid to a New Years Six bowl game (Fiesta, Cotton, Chick-Fil-A, Orange, Sugar, Rose). Houston almost made it to a BCS game in 2011, but fell to Southern Miss in the conference championship game. The loser of the C-USA championship game receives a bid in one of C-USA's six other bowl berths. Historically the C-USA runner up played in the Bowl against a team from the MAC, but C-USA's ties with that bowl ended in 2009.

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